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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Announces Higher Education Leaders as State of the Union Guests

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), ranking member of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, proudly announced her distinguished guests for the upcoming State of the Union address, demonstrating her commitment to supporting higher education and historically minority-serving institutions (MSI).

Joining Congresswoman Wilson at the event will be Dr. Larry Robinson, President of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and Dr. Malou C. Harrison, Executive Vice President and Provost of Miami Dade College (MDC). Both individuals epitomize the dedication and excellence found within our educational institutions.

"I am honored to have Dr. Robinson and Dr. Harrison as my guests for the State of the Union address," Congresswoman Wilson stated. "Their dedication to their respective institutions and students is exemplary, and their presence serves as a testament to the transformative power of education. As we tackle the challenges and opportunities facing higher education, we must continue to support our educators, institutions, and HBCUs to ensure that every student has access to quality education and the opportunity to thrive.” 

Congresswoman Wilson recognizes our universities' pivotal role in shaping our nation's future by serving and empowering our students. As the ranking member of the Higher Education Committee and a lifelong educator herself, she understands the importance of providing unwavering support to our educators and institutions. She firmly believes that investing in education is an investment in the prosperity and progress of our society. That’s why she has proposed legislation such as the LOAN Act, which helps lower the cost of college for current and future borrowers.  

Furthermore, as an alumna of an HBCU, Congresswoman Wilson is a staunch advocate for HBCUs, recognizing their unique contributions to higher education and their historical significance in providing opportunities for underserved communities. By bringing Dr. Robinson, a leader in one of Florida's premier HBCUs, and Dr. Harrison, representing one of the nation's largest and most diverse community colleges, Congresswoman Wilson reaffirms her commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.

Dr. Malou C. Harrison brings over 35 years of distinguished leadership in public higher education, focusing on underserved students. With more than three decades at Miami Dade College (MDC), she's held diverse roles, including campus president and Dean of Students. Dr. Harrison spearheaded numerous impactful partnership initiatives promoting equity, academic excellence, and student achievement. Her adept resource development secured substantial funding from private and public entities like the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Larry Robinson, the 12th president of Florida A&M University (FAMU), is a distinguished professor and researcher in the School of the Environment. With a career marked by notable accomplishments in academia, research, and administration, Dr. Robinson's leadership roles at FAMU have been varied and impactful. Dr. Robinson's extensive contributions include directing FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute, overseeing academic affairs as Provost and Vice President, and leading the university's research initiatives. Additionally, his involvement in national endeavors such as the STEM Education Advisory Panel and his service as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management at NOAA highlights his dedication to advancing scientific innovation and education. Dr. Robinson's research interests, spanning environmental chemistry, radiochemistry, and policy, reflect his passion for addressing pressing environmental challenges and shaping sustainable solutions. His multifaceted expertise and leadership have left an indelible mark at FAMU and beyond.

The State of the Union address provides a platform to highlight our nation's critical issues. Congresswoman Wilson's choice of guests reflects her commitment to advocating for policies that promote educational equity and excellence.